Tattoo with Marru from Inkroom Tattoo Studio
We do geometric tattoos and abstract tattoos. From Mandala tattoos to trash polka tattoo styles. Geometric and abstract tattoos are known for their sharpness and minimal style in tattooing, very recommended if you like design and are a minimal person.Inkroom Tattoo Studio website
It wasn’t an easy decision to get a tattoo. For years, it’s weighed on my mind that I wanted to get something without having a final design idea in place. I think for most people, they have a design and then have trouble deciding who to go see. That part of the decision making process was easy for me: Marru with Inkroom Tattoo Studio.
Over the past few years, I have been following various tattoo artists in Kelowna and the Okanagan, checking out their styles and work, getting a taste of their personalities in video clips on Instagram or Facebook, and reading reviews online about people’s experiences with the artists. There are a lot of talented artists in the Okanagan. My eyes kept getting drawn to Marru’s artwork, especially the trash polka tattoos she has done.
I wasn’t quite ready to commit to a piece that was more involved with design and the time required for it to be finished. This was going to be my first tattoo, after all. I didn’t want a spur of the moment design. Instead, I came across the Great Eastern Sun design last year, and knew instantly that it was going to be the one.
I had a few conversations with Marru over the past few months about the process, sent over the design I was thinking of to get her impression, and then I walked into the studio to put down the deposit. When the cash left my hand into hers, I was in deep and there wasn’t going to be any turning back without that financial loss.
10 days passed between that payment and the date of the tattoo.
With anything else in my life, that would have been no big deal. With this, it left plenty of time for me to do more research and ask questions- ones that should have been asked before I paid the deposit and committed to this.
“What’s it like getting a tattoo on your upper back?” I asked a friend with a tattoo in a similar spot as I planned.
Not quite the response I was hoping for. Asked someone else, and they said the same thing. That shot up my anxiety levels a bit over the coming week before my appointment.
Walking into the studio, I was a bit flustered. I had turned down the wrong side street to access the studio and walked in nearly fifteen minutes late. I felt horrible about that and the palms started to sweat a bit. I had some time to look over the waiver sheet and compose myself before getting things started, which was a quiet blessing.
The design was printed out, placed on my back, and then I waited before sitting down in the chair. Sitting in the chair for the work was definitely the right choice rather than laying down on the bed. I could brace myself when I could feel the gun hitting the more sensitive parts of the back and relax, look around, and tap my foot with the tunes that were playing.
The total time in the chair was around three hours. The first thirty minutes felt longer as my body adjusted to the feeling of the tattoo gun working. I noticed myself glancing at my watch to check the time and decided that was a silly thing to do. There was no time limit in place for this. The piece was done when Marru said it was done.
The studio was thankfully quiet that afternoon. Not a lot of people coming and going, no one else getting work done, mainly me and Marru working away. I was able to close my eyes, take deeper breaths, and stay as relaxed as possible without flinching.1
Before I knew it, it was done. A short break before the home stretch, and then it was over. It caught me off-guard when Marru asked me to go stand up against the wall for the final pictures before getting wrapped up. When she asked me if I was glad that it was over, I wasn’t sure how to respond.
While getting a tattoo isn’t the most enjoyable experience in the world, I can see why people do get drawn to getting more than one on their body. Your mind gets into a meditative state listening to the drone of the needle pulsing against your skin. You get to know the pace of the artist as they work, wiping and refreshing the ink before beginning again. Your body releases endorphins as it experiences pain, making you feel better about the whole thing. There Is something special, magical, when you come home and clean the tattoo with your own hand the first time too.
That’s when you are first able to feel what was done: a living piece of art on your canvas of a body that will move as your body moves, change as you grow older, and be a constant reminder of the time you spent sitting or laying with the artist.
I am glad with my decision to sit with Marru. If you are in Kelowna or see her travelling to your city, do go visit her and see what she can do for your body.
- Marru on Instagram
- Inkroom Tattoo Studio website
- And Lefty, another artist in the studio who helped me take the shots.
- Surely this is everyone’s biggest fear. ↩